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New Mexico Senate honors Glenn Cutter


Glenn Cutter of Picacho Hills, longtime champion of the arts and a Las Cruces business leader, was celebrated on the floor of the New Mexico Senate on Jan. 29 for his contributions not only to New Mexico’s second largest city but to its Capitol building and government buildings throughout the state.

The state Capitol building, commonly referred to as the Roundhouse, is renowned for its art collection. As state Sen. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, pointed out, Cutter, 82, played a crucial role in establishing a collection in which several senators expressed pride.

“We take for granted the art collection that’s in this building,” Cervantes said, adding, “This is really arguably the most impressive art collection in the state of New Mexico and that says a great deal in a state that’s so committed to the arts.”

Cutter was a founding member of the New Mexico Capitol Art Foundation in 1992, a nonprofit that oversees the art on exhibit at the Roundhouse, and served as its president for 13 years. With his wife Sally, who died in 2019, Cutter sold jewelry and antiques in Las Cruces since 1963, and the Cutter Gallery, long located at the historic Hadley House on El Paseo Road (which the couple restored), also featured regular art exhibitions through its 45 years in business.

Cutter was also a founding member of the Doña Ana Arts Council and a founder of the Las Cruces Art Show. The DAAC has given him the John Glowacki Award for lifetime achievement and is a member of the New Mexico Arts Commission. 

“Glenn taught me about appreciating art, because I always felt that art was just way beyond my pocketbook even though I appreciated it,” state Sen. Carrie Hamblen, D-Las Cruces, said. What she learned from Cutter, she added, was: “Art is an investment. It never depreciates, and it is something that shows the character and love that you bring into your home.”

“For whatever we get wrong in this state and in the Legislature and state government … the art in this building is world-class,” state Sen. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, said.

Among the bipartisan tributes came thanks from state Sen. Cliff Pirtle, R-Roswell, who said the works of art that graces the walls and corridors of the Capitol presented “a chance for all of us to really center ourselves” amid each day’s business.

Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, noted that the arts, tourism and culture are major contributors to New Mexico’s economy as well, and celebrated the 1986 statute that established a 1 percent earmark from capital expenditures exceeding $100,000 for art installations in state buildings across New Mexico. Cutter has served on local selection committees that administer the program.

Cervantes also paid tribute to Cutter’s leadership in Las Cruces’ business community and service to New Mexico State University as the NMSU Foundation and NMSU Foundation Investment Committee chair and other initiatives.

Cutter was present for the honor, briefly rising from his seat to acknowledge applause and paying thanks to the senators.

Glenn Cutter, NM Legislative, honor